He has been named the Alamo City’s Best Chef in 1994, he has been called the “most creative chef in San Antonio” by Mary Mahaffey, President of the Heart of Texas Specialty Foods in Austin. He has been recognized with the prestigious Critic’s Choice Award at the Texas Hill Country Food and Wine Festival in Austin and has also been voted as the “Best Chef in San Antonio” by readers of the San Antonio. Yes! He is Jay McCarthy, who started his career as an Aerospace engineer with one of the top-notch companies in the market but is now a renowned chef.
Born in New York, raised in Jamaica, and educated in Texas, Jay is a multicultural culinary visionary who has earned repeated accolades for his unique and innovative recipes treating numerous taste buds. That’s one of the reasons for the food writers referring him as one of the most promising young chefs in the American Food scene.
The man who excelled in math, physics, and chemistry and was also accepted at both M.I.T. and Stanford is now one of the most experienced chefs having worked in numerous notable establishments like San Antonio’s Cascabel Restaurant, a South Texas landmark that was awarded coveted AAA Four Diamond status, the HEB Central Markets and the train kitchen for the American Orient Express (AOE). Recently, he has emceed and served as the host chef at the Culinary Awards for the Kravitz Interior Design Symposium.
Source: ChopHouseBC Aerospace Engineer turned Chef
But, Jay hasn’t just stayed inside the kitchen. Having travelled across numerous countries to share his insights with other chefs, Jay has also travelled as a consultant for the Texas Beef Council, the Nebraska Beef Council, and the U.S. Meat Export Federation. The major part of his year is spent in consulting, teaching, and lecturing overseas as well as domestically. His skills are not just limited to preparing tempting delicacies. Instead, he has also co-authored Traveling Jamaica with Knife, Fork and Spoon. Moreover, his recipes and opinions have also appeared in countless publications. While TV and radio invite him for their shows, he is also a much sought after critic, panelist, and judge who has recently served as a judge in a Bon Appetit Master Chef Competition held in Beaver Creek, Colorado.
At present, Jay is the Corporate Chef for all Group970 restaurants that are located in Colorado’s Vail Valley. He enjoys spending his days overseeing all culinary operations of the company’s five restaurants, the Beaver Creek Chophouse, C BAR, the Vail Chophouse, the Beaver Creek Blue Moose and the Vail Blue Moose.
What’s interesting is that Jay never went to any cooking school. It was just by working with some of the chefs he really liked and experimenting with their ideas that Jay is what many of us would love to be.
Whether you have an engineering mind or cooking mind, what you want is always in you. All you have to do is look for it and you are done!